Get List of Keys from Dictionary in Python (4 Examples)


In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to get a list from your dictionary keys in Python.

The content of the tutorial is structured as follows:

Let’s go straight to the examples!


Create Sample Data

As the first step in this tutorial, we will create an example dictionary to use in the following examples.

my_dict = {'apple':1, 'pineapple': 5, 'watermelon': 3, 'banana': 4}
# {'apple': 1, 'pineapple': 5, 'watermelon': 3, 'banana': 4}

As you can see, we have created my_dict, a sample dictionary that contains four key-value pairs. Let’s see how to print the keys as a list!


Example 1: Return Dictionary Keys as List via keys() Method & list() Function

In this first example, we will use the keys() method to retrieve the keys in my_dict.

keys_list = list(my_dict.keys())
# ['apple', 'pineapple', 'watermelon', 'banana']

As shown in the previous Python output, the keys() method returns a view object of the dictionary’s keys, which we have converted into a list using the list() function.


Example 2: Return Dictionary Keys as List via for Loop

Example 2 shows how to return the dictionary keys as a list using a for loop.

keys_list = []
for key in my_dict:
# ['apple', 'pineapple', 'watermelon', 'banana']

Notice that, first, we have defined an empty list called keys_list. Then, the for loop iterated over the keys in my_dict and appended each key to keys_list.


Example 3: Return Dictionary Keys as List via List Comprehension

This method shows how to use list comprehension to create a new list that contains our dictionary’s keys.

keys_list = [key for key in my_dict]
# ['apple', 'pineapple', 'watermelon', 'banana']

Here, we have used list comprehension to create a new list named keys_list, which contains all the keys in my_dict.


Example 4: Return Dictionary Keys as List via * Operator

This last method is only available in Python 3.5 and later. It uses the * operator to unpack the keys of the dictionary to a new list as follows.

keys_list = [*my_dict]
# ['apple', 'pineapple', 'watermelon', 'banana']

As shown, the [*my_dict] expression provides the same output as in the previous examples.


Video, Further Resources & Summary

Do you need more explanations on how to print a dictionary’s keys as a list in Python? Then you should have a look at the following YouTube video of the Statistics Globe YouTube channel.


The YouTube video will be added soon.


Furthermore, I encourage you to check out some other tutorials on Statistics Globe:

This post has shown how to get a list of keys from a dictionary in Python language. In case you have further questions, you may leave a comment below.


Paula Villasante Soriano Statistician & R Programmer

This page was created in collaboration with Paula Villasante Soriano. Please have a look at Paula’s author page to get further information about her academic background and the other articles she has written for Statistics Globe.


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